Adopted in 2013 and subsequently amended in 2017, New York City’s “Prohibition on the sale of discounted cigarettes and tobacco products” and the “Tobacco Product Regulation Act” together restrict the availability of inexpensive tobacco products and enhance enforcement of the City’s tobacco product excise taxes by:
- Prohibiting the discounted sale of any tobacco product, including those accomplished through the redemption of coupons, cross-promotions and multipack discounts.
- Setting price floors for cigarettes ($13), little cigars ($10.95), individually packaged cigars ($8), smokeless tobacco ($8 per 1.2 oz package), shisha ($17 per 3.5 oz package), and loose tobacco ($2.55 per 1.5 oz package).
- Establishing a minimum pack size of 20 cigarettes or 20 little cigars.
- Establishing a minimum pack size of 4 cigars (which individually retail for less than or equal to $3).
- Establishing additional minimum package sizes for snus, shisha, and loose tobacco.
(The policy prohibiting discounted sales of tobacco products was challenged and upheld by a federal court.)
These laws are enforced by the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Consumer Affairs, and Finance.
Civil penalties for violations of the law include:
- not more than $1,000 for first violation within a five year period;
- not more than $2,000 for second violation within a five year period; and
- not more than $5,000 for a third violation within a five year period
The Departments may suspend or revoke any city-issued license held by a retailer who violates the law.